The Artist-in-Residence Program brings an artist or art collective to the University of Rochester for one academic year to conduct research, produce a body of work, and teach a selection of studio art courses.

The resident artist(s) is given the opportunity to pursue research and/or realize a specific project while drawing on the University's resources, including its labs and facilities, faculty and student body, practice and performance space, and archives, libraries, research centers, and special collections

During the course of their residencies, the artist(s) will create a project that engages with the campus and greater community and will give one public presentation along with a cumulative exhibition, performance, screening, or public installation.

Candidates for the program include those who recently graduated with their MFA or PhD, or already established artists who demonstrate the ability to collaborate across disciplinary fields.


2023—Carolyn Gennari

Carolyn Gennari restarted the department’s Artist in Residence program in 2023. Gennari’s versatility is evident in the employment of video, animation, performance, and sculpture. Her projects often start within museums and archives, advance into added relevancy through a reframing for present-day communities, sites, and events. This approach positions the archive as an active space, inviting contemplation on history and its interconnectedness with the contemporary. Gennari obtained her MFA from the Stamps School of Art and Design and her MA in Museum Studies from the University of Michigan.

Searching For What Isn’t There, is a 14 part film that combines archival and first-person research about the legacy of arctic exploration. This project stems from Gennari’s extensive research surrounding the voyages undertaken by Captain William Parry from 1819-1824, to find the northwest passage. Drawing from Parry’s journals, Inuit oral histories, and her experience traveling to the arctic, Searching For What Isn’t There positions the Northwest Passage as a metaphor for knowledge-construction and explores how legend continues to frame our understanding of the past. “…we are left to wonder then, where the frontier of history gives way to mythic space and its imaginaries...” (01:44)

A still image depicting a person on stage in costume with their face covered.
Searching For What Isn’t There
Video still, total duration: 44:14
2018—Ash Arder

Ash Arder piloted the Artist in Residence program which was put on hold during the pandemic. Arder is a transdisciplinary artist who creates idea- and object-based systems for interpreting and re-imagining interspecies relations (i.e., the relations between humans and plants). Her research-based approach examines these relationships primarily through pop culture and historic (both personal and shared) lenses. Arder presented her creative research from the first half of her residency in an exhibition titled A Study: Collision Detection at Hartnett Gallery in November of 2018.

A Study: Collision Detection—collision refers to the intersection of two or more objects, virtual or real; detection speaks to capturing that moment of intersection, specifically with regard to time and force of impact. In a series of new visual meditations, Ash Arder examines computer science techniques aimed at simulating the effects of natural phenomena like wind and rain on vegetation. Mathematical equations and computational systems are loosely translated into real life scenarios… or is it the other way around?

Sample art.
Broadcast #3, 2018: Wood, plastic crates, copper coupling, soil, nettle seeds, cardboard, burlap, analog drum machine, bass envelope filter, speakers, cassette player, cassette tape, sound composition. Sound is used as a catalyst to broadcast (scatter) seeds onto beds of soil. Photo credit: Carlson Productions